Juvenile crime in Anchorage is down, but crimes involving drugs and alcohol is not. Many who work in the juvenile justice system say we’re not catching young people who are getting into trouble soon enough. A new series examines what services are available, how youth are getting help and how they’re helping themselves.The Blind Spot: Troubled Teens And The Safety NetDownload AudioHOST: Lori TownsendGUESTS:Anne Hillman, reporter, KSKA 91.1FMZachariah Hughes, reporter, KSKA 91.1FMCallers statewidePARTICIPATE:Post your comment before, during or after the live broadcast (comments may be read on air).Send e-mail to talk [at] alaskapublic [dot] org (comments may be read on air)Call 550-8422 in Anchorage or 1-800-478-8255 if you’re outside Anchorage during the live broadcastLIVE Broadcast: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. on APRN stations statewide.SUBSCRIBE: Get Talk of Alaska updates automatically by e-mail, RSS or podcast.TALK OF ALASKA ARCHIVE
What would have otherwise been a really fun game was brutally ripped open and stuffed with in-app purchases today. Please, a moment of silence for Angry Birds Go!.When Rovio announced their intention to bring what appeared to be a Mario Kart clone to mobile devices, there was a great deal of excitement. We all know Nintendo isn’t going to bring their addictive yet wonderful racing game to anything other than the 3DS and Wii U, so someone else needed to step up if it was ever going to happen. The Angry Birds franchise has been a global success, due just as much to compelling gameplay as it was good business sense. Unfortunately, it’s hard to feel anything more than resentment towards the business decisions made in Angry Birds Go! after about 20 minutes of gameplay.Everything about the first few minutes of Angry Birds Go! was done exactly right. There’s a few trial races to get you familiar with the controls, and when you’re ready to move on you can pick one of three karts that best suit your driving style and move on. After another race you realize that the coins you have been collecting can be spent on upgrading your kart, and all the makings of a great game fall into place. Suddenly you reach the end of the next race and you notice there’s a pulsing button allowing you to double the amount of coins you make forever, and the first of a never ending assault on your wallet begins.Doubling your coins every race will cost you $7 in real money, which in reality is probably what Rovio could have charged for the game and still been incredibly successful. It’s not a requirement that you spend this money, but that pulsing icon will be at the end of every race you play ever again unless you do. Heading back to the shop after this experience will show you that there are now more karts available for you to check out. The two karts that you didn’t choose in the beginning of the game are now available for five coins each, but there are four others in the list now.The next one you see costs $3 of real money to own, which is immediately followed by a slightly improved kart that is 50% off today. That kart is currently $10, which would seem like a lot if it weren’t sitting next to two more slightly improved karts that are $50 each. Keep in mind, even if you own one of these expensive karts, you can’t just race it whenever you want. Your bird will get tired after a certain number of races, and you’ll be prompted to either pay real money for an energy boost or you’ll have to come back and play later. You can unlock more characters and switch them out as the game progresses, but the whole mechanic is grossly unnecessary.On top of in-app purchases, there are sponsored items that you can take advantage of. You can soup up your engine with Pepperidge Farm Goldfish, or you can consult a State Farm agent about making sure your vehicle remains in good racing condition. There are also physical karts that can be bought at toy stores that you’ll be able to add to the game via QR code, much in the same way that Angry Birds Star Wars 2 did. The end result is what was probably a really fun game a one point but is now mostly ruined by the endless torrent of grabby hands in search of your digital bank account.